What is your current role and what do you enjoy about it?
I’m Head of Programmes, which means I lead the variety of support services the Macular Society offers to enable people who lose central vision to carry on living full and independent lives.
What is the key area you are working on at the moment?
We’re working on reaching even more people who may need our help, and looking at ways we can maximise digital opportunities to do that.
What’s your biggest health information challenge?
The biggest challenge is making sure people receive the information they need.
Sadly, so many are told there is no medical cure and they think that’s it, they’ll go blind.
Our challenge is making sure they have the information that can help them manage their condition and their lives.
How can PIF members help you meet that challenge?
PIF members might be able to help by sharing experiences of how they have been able to get information to patients in the early stages of diagnosis, for example, signposting as standard in medical consultations.
What’s the best thing about working in health information?
The best thing is hearing how receiving the right information has transformed someone’s approach to their situation.
I’m thinking of Judith, who was crushed by her diagnosis.
We were able to share information about the condition, the potential impact and positive steps she could take.
This knowledge turned it around for Judith, and she’s now out there informing and inspiring others.
Why did you join PIF?
We joined PIF because clear, trusted information has always been the back-bone of the Macular Society, but we wanted a way to have that recognised publicly.
What do you find useful about being a PIF member?
Learning from the experience of others is invaluable, and PIF creates those connections.
How do you ensure your health information is of the best possible quality?
Quality comes from established and strong links with people working in different aspects of the health service, from leading ophthalmologists to award-winning low vision practitioners.
They are very generous with their time and support, to make sure we are telling patients exactly what they are telling patients.
What top tip do you have to share on health information?
Less is more when it comes to words! We are always aware that many of our patients struggle to read, so we are careful to be succinct and offer the information in as many different formats as possible.
What was your lightbulb moment in health information?
My lightbulb moment: people never take in information all in one go, particularly concerning health conditions.
Understanding this is helping us to re-package the information, to be available when people want it in the place they look for it.